COPE Galway have confirmed that that their business Sleep Out held in the city last December has raised over €140,000.
The Sleepout event, taking place for the fifth year, was organised to raise funds and awareness for COPE Galway’s local homeless services. On a frosty but dry night, 32 business leaders slept out in Galway City Centre for 12 hours on December 2. Each participant reached their €3,000 target and a majority of them far exceeded it.
At the Sleep Out recognition event Jacquie Horan, CEO of COPE Galway, said that five years ago Hannah Kiely (member of the COPE Galway Board of Directors and founder of the Business Sleep Out ) had a vision that this event would become vital in raising funds to address homelessness in Galway and over this timeframe it has grown from €4,000 to this year’s total of €140,000.
“We would like to thank all of the participants who have taken part in raising this amount, and we would also like to thank all those who contributed to each participant’s fundraising drive, as well as the Galway public who supported the event on the night.
“This money will enable us to put practical solutions in place in helping to tackle the complex problem of homelessness. In recent months, we have acquired a number of houses and the funds raised have allowed us to kit these out for use by people who can now move out of emergency accommodation. And while the housing situation continues to be extremely difficult, we are seeing some move through which is very heartening,” said Ms Horan.
Hannah Kiely said that they would like to extend her gratitude and thanks to everyone who took part in the event and to all those who helped make it happen. “This was a real team effort that involved many people from across the Galway community. And their support doesn’t end here – many of the businesses involved continue to offer supports throughout the year in a variety of ways and we really appreciate this”, said Hannah.
COPE Galway reports that there are over 50 single person households and over 30 families currently living in emergency accommodation in Galway. In 2016 the organisation’s homeless services responded to and supported a total of over 700 households who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. COPE Galway provides a range of services to those affected by homelessness as well as services for women and children experiencing domestic violence and supports for older people, including Meals on Wheels. If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness and need support call the COPE Galway Day Centre on 091 525259 or visit www.copegalway.ie